The Batesville Memorial Public Library is proud to have among its special collections the Jim Mahle Memorial Aviation Collection.

This circulating collection of fiction and non-fiction books, videos and magazines was started by Jim Mahle and Al Giesting of Batesville, Indiana, and contains materials on military, commercial and private aviation. The collection, originally called the 352nd Fighter Group Memorial Aviation Collection after the unit that fought in Europe during WWII, was renamed following the passing of our good friend, Jim Mahle, in 2013.

The plaque, carved by Batesville’s Tim Weberding of Weberding’s Carving Shop, features a likeness of Jim and an image of his favorite jet along with the insignia of the Indiana Civil Air Patrol.  The text carved below his image refers to Jim’s belief in our Armed Forces and “the need to support our veterans.  Jim believed in learning from history and giving this education to our children…Above all, he believed in family and loyalty to friends.”

Other features of our aviation collection include two model P-51 Mustangs as flown by the 352 FG’s Lt. Malcolm Pickering and Lt. McDonald Godfrey, patches from the 352nd’s three squadrons, illustrations of other P-51 Mustangs from the 352nd FG, and a framed, illustrated poster and information about Major George Preddy, donated by The Preddy Memorial Foundation.

The circulating materials in this collection may be borrowed by anyone with a valid Evergreen Indiana library card.